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padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 05:20 PM
feelings-wise I'm pro-both, generally. ningún ser humano es ilegal, after all. but talking in practical IR/political/& especially economic terms. don't intend this to be solely U.S./Mexico, but in general. after all it perhaps even a bigger/more contentious issue in Europe, even if you guys can't match us for sheer militarization & solipsistic callousness. & obv the issue will only become more pressing as resources decline, economic inequities widen, etc.

flows of human traffic, how states & other actors attempt, with or without success, to control or direct those flows. the paradox of ever "freer" trade w/ever more tightly policed borders. the interrelations between legal & illegal flows of humans, goods, capital, etc. & so on.

Saskia Sassen article from 2006 - scathing takedown of the ineptitude of U.S. border policy & how it relates to the EU (http://www.opendemocracy.net/people-migrationeurope/militarising_borders_3735.jsp)


But the difference is actually not where the limits of walls make themselves visible. The wall and the weaponised border function in a vaster ecology. That larger ecology helps explain the failures of government attempts to stop unauthorised migration via border controls.


Before 1992, the cost of making one arrest along the US-Mexico border stood at $300; by 2002, that cost had grown by 467% to $1,700 and the probability of apprehension had fallen to a forty-year low. In the 1980s, the probability that an undocumented migrant would be detained while crossing was 33%; by 2000 it was 10%, despite massive increases in spending on border enforcement.


The winners include arms manufacturers; large corporate employers in particular sectors of the economy that tend to employ significant numbers of undocumented workers; various lobbies; employers of undocumented immigrants generally...and the growing numbers of smugglers whose fees and business have expanded as government policies make border-crossing more difficult and risky....The losers include citizens whose taxes are paying for a far larger and costlier border-control operation that is not even reducing illegal crossings (the intended policy outcome); the migrants themselves whose crossings have become far more difficult, dangerous, and sometimes deadly (as well as costly, given the greater need to use a smuggler)...

plus loads of other cogent points

pdf from 1999 (but still relevant, perhaps even moreso) cited in the article - The Escalation of U.S. Immigration Control in the Post-NAFTA Era (http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Political_Science/documents/Escalation_of_immigration_control.pdf)


Enhanced border policing, I argue, has less to do with actual deterrence
and more to do with managing the image of the border and coping with the
deepening contradictions of economic integration.

on a personal note:

when I was teaching (or trying to anyway) English to migrant laborers in Oakland back in 2004-6 or so nearly everyone I'd meet was from southern Mexico - Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Tabasco, Veracruz - or Guatamala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. the ripple effects of NAFTA.

the U.S./Mexico border is a truly grim place, tho of course some spots (Juarez/El Paso, for example) are grimmer than others. it is one thing to read about & another to see it first hand - the white Border Patrol (or DHS now I guess) SUVs patrolling in the desert, arrays of cameras, abysmal poverty, the gross specter of American tourists, the fabricas & their female workforces & paramilitarized security. the whole thing is lunacy, really.

once had a friend nicked while we were trying to cross the border legally (him in a car w/us Americans). it was bloody awful. had a few other mates nicked. thankfully haven't known anyone who died trying to cross. also in the States, living w/folks w/o papers - the constant paranoia (ironically, as most of them hated the U.S. & would have liked nothing more than to go back were it not for $ issues).

padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 05:28 PM
I know it's a bit of a diatribe, sorry - I'm off school - 4th of July weekend - take that you Limey mucks;)! sod King George & all that.

also, b/c why the hell not, a great clip of the mighty mighty Los Crudos - Chicago via Uruguay & other points south - on the topic of immigration.

Los Crudos - Illeqal y Que? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ngYBu0NoGk)

vimothy
03-07-2009, 05:31 PM
Crudos!

Sick Boy
03-07-2009, 05:58 PM
I'm actually leaving in an hour to go for an interview at the Ministry of Immigration.

padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 06:34 PM
best of luck Sick Boy. if you don't mind my asking - it's to what, become a Canadian citizen? (feel free not not to answer if it's too personal of course)

this is another excruciating, & underreported, side of immigration - dealing with the bureaucracies. I've never experienced it but again, seen loads of friends struggle thru it; the the endless layers of red tape, the reams of paperwork & the rounds of interviews, the indefinite limbo of being stuck in bureaucratic purgatory. it is damaging for the state as well of course - grossly inefficient use of resources, often undermines its own attempts at enforcement, etc.

@Vim - for real, the best hardcore band ever (great name too crudos essentially means that straight raw). & straight up Chicago, out of Pilsen. another great track by another Latin band:

Revolución X - I'm Making My Future With the Border Patrol (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTl5VIqwol4)

m99188868
03-07-2009, 06:37 PM
after all it perhaps even a bigger/more contentious issue in Europe, even if you guys can't match us for sheer militarization & solipsistic callousness

Italy is doing its best to catch up: Italy's parliament has given final approval to a law criminalising illegal immigration and allowing citizens' patrols to help the police keep order. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8132084.stm)

Sick Boy
03-07-2009, 07:05 PM
best of luck Sick Boy. if you don't mind my asking - it's to what, become a Canadian citizen? (feel free not not to answer if it's too personal of course)

Oh no, nothing like that. I'm already a Canadian citizen. For a job.

padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 07:13 PM
oh - well best of luck anyway. I imagine working at the Canadian Ministry of Immigration is considerably less awful than working for, say, the Department of Homeland Security.

actually Canada's been having immigration issues recently w/U.S. deserters yeah? not a story that gets a ton of coverage here but I imagine it does up there.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 07:23 PM
Ok, Padraig, maybe you can answer this for me: when people talk about the U.S. being "callous" on immigration, what exactly do they mean? Because every city I've ever lived in or been to in the U.S. defies that assumption pretty readily. Like in Bushwick, there's a state hospital directly in the middle of a neighborhood with a very low ratio of (naturalized) citizens to illegal immigrants. You can walk into the hospital any time and get health care, no questions asked, and then blow off the bill, if they even bother sending one, which I've noticed they don't if you lack insurance. The immigrant kids go to public school and get free lunch and all of that. Most of the illegals are getting welfare benefits, through one loophole or another. If they're not on benefits, they're running really lucrative contracting (restaurant, etc.) businesses and working their asses off.

So wtf are people talking about when they say we're mean to immigrants? I'm sure there's got to be something to it but I haven't witnessed it with my own eyes.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 07:27 PM
this is another excruciating, & underreported, side of immigration - dealing with the bureaucracies. I've never experienced it but again, seen loads of friends struggle thru it; the the endless layers of red tape, the reams of paperwork & the rounds of interviews, the indefinite limbo of being stuck in bureaucratic purgatory. it is damaging for the state as well of course - grossly inefficient use of resources, often undermines its own attempts at enforcement, etc.


Ummm...that's what my grandparents had to deal with, too. They had to get on some kind of boat or whatever and then wait on an Island to get passed through and "named" and all of that. I mean, not that it's all peaches and cream and rainbows, but are immigration policies better somewhere else? I don't understand what the comparison is with? Documenting people is a bureacratic process, still--although I'm sure this process could be streamlined, is there any country that just lets anyone in with no questions asked? Most of the "bureacratic purgatory" is by way of background checks so we're not just letting any old criminal in who's trying to evade extradition.

The U.S. is probably much more lenient than many other countries on its immigration standards, or at least it was historically, otherwise most of my family would not have been allowed in.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 07:31 PM
From what I've heard, the Border Patrol is only there for show and isn't doing shit to stop anyone from getting into the U.S. I know somebody who worked for it. They used to play cards all night and watch the people walk by. They truly did not give a shit.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 08:32 PM
"The War on Drugs", "The War on Terror", now "The War on Illegal Immigration"--every neo-con project seems to be predicated on deliberate ineptitude, doesn't it? Do they really care about illegals, or do they just want to make a big ideological noise about it, while exploiting the cheap labor once it flows in?

Really, the problem of borders is a "subset" of the problem of the State, don't you think? Until there are no states, there will be the problem of borders.

scottdisco
03-07-2009, 08:56 PM
Fortress Europe, man.

Fortress Fucking Europe.

mind, having a dig at illegal immigrants isn't just a neo-con thing. other stripes of politician make hay from this too, many many other stripes. populist left-leaning and paleo-con in the UK for two, or populist right-leaning in the Netherlands for one, or populist cunts in Italy for one (is populist cunt a category? i think so).

North Koreans trying to escape.

all the developing states - particularly in Asia and Africa - that host the majority of the world's refugees.

IDPs in large number in places like Colombia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, across much of the Caucasus.

Sudanese in Chad.

bloated Mauritanian corpses washed up on Spanish beaches.

"He told us this would happen and it did" - comments of an Australian refugee advocacy group during the then-Howard govt's time of sending an asylum seeker back to Afghanistan: he said he would be murdered if he went back (he was claiming asylum on grounds of political persecution back home).
he went home and got knocked off.

economic migration, politically-motivated asylum, the list is endless, fuck off Maroni.

padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 10:04 PM
have to say Nomad, I'm kinda stunned by your seeming naivety. you do realize that most of the stuff you wrote wouldn't sound out of place coming out of the mouth of a Minuteman (or Lou Dobbs), right?

that hospital in Bushwick, those public schools (excluding the children who were born here & are thus U.S. citizens), those are not signs of goodwill towards immigrants. they are signs of inefficient bureaucracies (esp in re: health care!), self-contradictory policies on immigration & inept, selective enforcement of such policies as exist. anyway, have you ever sat in one of those hospitals for hrs & hrs waiting for your care under a fake name so you can dodge the bill? I have. it sucks (tho obv better than no care at all) - you can't go back for follow up appointments, you can't (legally) get pain medication, etc.

as to your frankly, absurd, contention that "most of the illegals" are getting welfare benefits or "running really lucrative contracting" I don't really know what to say. other than it's simply not true. I've certainly known illegals who were doing well/well off but the large majority are doing crap jobs for long hours w/low pay often (esp. in, say, meatpacking) in dangerous conditions.

hundreds of people die every year trying to cross the desert in Arizona or Texas. I guess this could be argued that this is a relatively low # compared to the total # of people crossing. or that it's their fault for trying to cross illegally - ignoring the often insurmountable difficulties of trying to cross legally & the economic desperation that would drive people to travel thousands of miles & risk arrest or even death for the glorious opportunity of standing outside Home Depot & hoping to get a job doing backbreaking manual labor at >minimum wage.

do I mean that you, Nomad, are personally mean to immigrants? no. "we" & "our" are, admittedly, problematic terms. tho also I don't equate "callousness" w/being "mean". except in the case of, again, the Minutemen etc. & pundits & politicians who pander to them. rather - our immigration "policy" such as it is, is to militarize the hell out of the border & to simultaneously make it so difficult to legally immigrate that many people who would simply can't do so.

padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 10:19 PM
Ummm...that's what my grandparents had to deal with, too. They had to get on some kind of boat or whatever and then wait on an Island to get passed through and "named" and all of that. I mean, not that it's all peaches and cream and rainbows, but are immigration policies better somewhere else? I don't understand what the comparison is with? Documenting people is a bureacratic process, still--although I'm sure this process could be streamlined, is there any country that just lets anyone in with no questions asked? Most of the "bureacratic purgatory" is by way of background checks so we're not just letting any old criminal in who's trying to evade extradition.

The U.S. is probably much more lenient than many other countries on its immigration standards, or at least it was historically, otherwise most of my family would not have been allowed in.

I'm not asking for anyone to let ppl in w/no questions asked. have you ever known someone who was dealing w/the INS/DHS etc.? it is not just "background checks". I'm sorry, but that is fucking garbage. I've had friends who were married (legimitately & non) & dealt with years of paperwork, invasive interviews, bureaucratic shuffling & reshuffling. there's also people who are arrested, either at the border or later, who can sit around in jail for months on end (on taxpayer $) waiting to be deported. or people whose children were born here who get deported away from their families. but you're right, we have to keep out the criminals.

re: the U.S. & it's historically lenient immigration standards. see:

Chinese Exclusion Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act)
Operation Wetback - no I'm not making that name up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Wetback)

& good thing your grandparents, like mine, made it over well before WWII - presumably - cos Jews trying to get in the late 30s-40s didn't do too well.

& so on.

on the other hand if you're a Cuban & you say you're anti-Castro you're golden as soon as you touch American soil (presuming you can make it across the 90 miles of open water in an intertube or whatever). so there's that. 98% of the Mariel boatlift Cubans made it in including, of course, various & sundry "old criminals".

padraig (u.s.)
03-07-2009, 10:32 PM
From what I've heard, the Border Patrol is only there for show and isn't doing shit to stop anyone from getting into the U.S. I know somebody who worked for it. They used to play cards all night and watch the people walk by. They truly did not give a shit.

this is also just not true. tho I can't speak to what your friend says & I imagine it's different depending on where one is posted (i.e., the Canadian border). I don't think, at all, that Border Patrol agents are racists/sadists out to bust heads for kicks (tho surely there are a smattering of those types, as w/any security force) - I reckon most people are probably attracted by the pay, or have patriotic motivations. also, certainly the Border Patrol, which is accountable to someone, is much preferable to vigilantes.

but don't mistake, it's a deadly serious business - on both sides. it's certainly not "just for show" - again, I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. we are talking death, shootouts, drugs, human trafficking.


"The War on Drugs", "The War on Terror", now "The War on Illegal Immigration"--every neo-con project seems to be predicated on deliberate ineptitude, doesn't it? Do they really care about illegals, or do they just want to make a big ideological noise about it, while exploiting the cheap labor once it flows in?

Really, the problem of borders is a "subset" of the problem of the State, don't you think? Until there are no states, there will be the problem of borders.

OTOH I agree w/both of these. in re: the former - see the reluctance to enforce immigration policy in meatpacking, agribusiness, big construction, etc. in re: the latter - sure but seeing as we have states we have borders. Vim to cut on in some tip about how globalization is changing the model of sovereignty & all that.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 11:13 PM
It was an honest question--I was asking because as far as I can tell, immigration in the U.S. is following a familiar pattern, but with hispanics being at the center now, instead of other groups who have historically been there. It's not entirely easy here for immigrants in the U.S. in many ways, but it never was. It's not entirely easy here for citizens from many areas, either, for the same reasons--health care, bad school systems, problems resulting from drugs, gangs, ghetto-ization.

From what I've heard, the Mexican border constraints have become more militaristic, but mostly as a "show" of power, because as far as numbers are concerned, these displays of "border control" have done precious little to halt hispanic immigration into the U.S.

The person I know worked in Texas as a border guard, about 5 years ago, but moved back to NY. From what he said, the situation there was not violent, but I don't know if that can be generalized...for all I know it's terrible, but I'm just saying, there's often a difference between what the ideologues preach and what their practices actually amount to, and I think immigration is no different.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 11:19 PM
anyway, have you ever sat in one of those hospitals for hrs & hrs waiting for your care under a fake name so you can dodge the bill? I have. it sucks (tho obv better than no care at all) - you can't go back for follow up appointments, you can't (legally) get pain medication, etc.


No, I've gone to that ER dozens of time and used my real name with no insurance and sat with the rest of the uninsured in the asthma room. They have to have a special one, because the rates of asthma in Bushwick are so high, because of the industrial smog. I haven't had an asthma attack or used my inhaler since I left. You absolutely can get pain medication, my bf gets methadone shots there all the time.

I've actually experienced that same hospital with and without insurance, and I can tell you it's a much quicker and friendlier experience if you have insurance. But that doesn't mean you can't get treated if you're an illegal. That's bullshit. Illegals don't go because they're afraid of getting deported, not because they will get deported. Doctor-patient privilege and the hypocratic oath are such that doctors MUST treat anyone who walks into a state-run hospital.

nomadthethird
03-07-2009, 11:31 PM
I'm not asking for anyone to let ppl in w/no questions asked. have you ever known someone who was dealing w/the INS/DHS etc.? it is not just "background checks". I'm sorry, but that is fucking garbage. I've had friends who were married (legimitately & non) & dealt with years of paperwork, invasive interviews, bureaucratic shuffling & reshuffling. there's also people who are arrested, either at the border or later, who can sit around in jail for months on end (on taxpayer $) waiting to be deported. or people whose children were born here who get deported away from their families. but you're right, we have to keep out the criminals.

re: the U.S. & it's historically lenient immigration standards. see:

Chinese Exclusion Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act)
Operation Wetback - no I'm not making that name up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Wetback)

& good thing your grandparents, like mine, made it over well before WWII - presumably - cos Jews trying to get in the late 30s-40s didn't do too well.

& so on.

on the other hand if you're a Cuban & you say you're anti-Castro you're golden as soon as you touch American soil (presuming you can make it across the 90 miles of open water in an intertube or whatever). so there's that. 98% of the Mariel boatlift Cubans made it in including, of course, various & sundry "old criminals".

Yes, and when my Italian grandparents came, they were only allowed because they faked birth certificates that established some kind of relationship between them and "relatives" already living in the U.S. Oh yeah, and their business associates paid off the appropriate officials.

This is the game, this is how it's played, this is how it's always been played, this is how it works. If you play by the INS' rules, unless you're white and from the EU, you're probably going to get stuck in the red tape, and you're not going to get in.

I've never heard of the Chinese Exclusion Act, but "Operation Wetback" was more about drugs and politics than it was about immigration...of course, it's always more about economics and politics than it is about "immigration"...

The "refugees" we welcome with open arms are always politically convenient. Those we shun are also convenient to this or that cause. It's not fair, but what the hell are nations going to do? I love how people simultaneously want Empire to stop colonizing and forcing their hideous American way of life on everyone, but then at the same time they're supposed to let EVERYBODY in... it's kinda cute.

padraig (u.s.)
04-07-2009, 12:06 AM
This is the game, this is how it's played, this is how it's always been played, this is how it works. If you play by the INS' rules, unless you're white and from the EU, you're probably going to get stuck in the red tape, and you're not going to get in.

your point being what, exactly? that things have always sucked so they always will suck & oh well no use complaining? (quick pedantic note - there isn't an actual INS & hasn't been since 2003 - it's under DHS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Citizenship_and_Immigration_Services) - hence the inevitable mixups of economic immigration & security issues)


of course, it's always more about economics and politics than it is about "immigration"...

obv, tho I dunno to what extent you can separate the latter from the former anyway. especially economics.


I love how people simultaneously want Empire to stop colonizing and forcing their hideous American way of life on everyone, but then at the same time they're supposed to let EVERYBODY in... it's kinda cute.

please don't mischaracterize what I said & then attribute some vague nonsense to "people". that is the kind of bullshit you always rip to threads when Zhao (no offense if you read that Z - U kno it's all luv) or whoever does it. I would never go off on some goofy shit about "Empire" w/gratuitous capitalization. you're looking for the K-punk fanboys there. tho, for the record, looking askance at cultural imperialism & being critical of American immigration policy are not exactly contradictory.

is it so much to ask for an approach to immigration that is 1) mostly consistent & 2) reasonably humane? maybe it is. b/c, again, it's not as if the militarize/crackdown approach is getting anywhere, even at what it's intended to do. tho I guess in a way it doesn't matter- sheer weight of #s will trump the BS, it already does.

padraig (u.s.)
04-07-2009, 12:23 AM
I've actually experienced that same hospital with and without insurance, and I can tell you it's a much quicker and friendlier experience if you have insurance. But that doesn't mean you can't get treated if you're an illegal. That's bullshit. Illegals don't go because they're afraid of getting deported, not because they will get deported. Doctor-patient privilege and the hypocratic oath are such that doctors MUST treat anyone who walks into a state-run hospital.

afraid with, yunno, valid reason. & not afraid of the doctors & nurses either, which you well know. the point isn't that it's impossible to get treatment, just that it's more difficult & often risky. like everything. it's also true that their are many programs - clinics, food banks & lessons, legal aid, English classes - geared towards, or at least sympathetic to, illegal immigrants (at least Spanish-speaking, I've no idea about Asians, Africans & others but presumably each community has its own) but nearly every one I've ever seen has been self-run, naught to do w/"welfare".

for Scott:
Safe European Home (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_6UTZb-_vI)

Mr. Tea
04-07-2009, 12:29 AM
The UK is an *incredibly* crowded country; something that is far less of an issue for Americans when considering immigration. And England, considered as a country in its own right, is one of the most crowded countries in the world (over 80% of the UK's population in about half the land area).

This may not be a popular opinion on here, but I think we should wait until we've figured out where to house and how to employ the people who are living here already before we let anyone else in.

OTOH, as a wealthy developed country I think we have a duty to accept refugees fleeing war or oppression but AFAIK these make up a minority of overall immigration figures.

padraig (u.s.)
04-07-2009, 12:46 AM
This may not be a popular opinion on here, but I think we should wait until we've figured out where to house and how to employ the people who are living here already before we let anyone else in.

unpopular or not, I don't really think that's the point. I don't mean to frame it in morality, anyway, tho inevitably it's an issue, like Isr/Pal, that will kick up heated feelings. immigration is in a way like abortion - you can outlaw it, put restrictions on it, but you can't stop it. people will just find illicit & more dangerous ways to do it.

I'm far more interested in pragmatic grounds - not least cos I think they offer up the best avenue to real improvement. whatever your feelings are it is in one's best interest, as a general rule & esp. for the U.S. (the UK's situation of course being different) to have a more transparent, conciliatory approach to immigration.

Mr. Tea
04-07-2009, 01:05 AM
unpopular or not, I don't really think that's the point. I don't mean to frame it in morality, anyway, tho inevitably it's an issue, like Isr/Pal, that will kick up heated feelings. immigration is in a way like abortion - you can outlaw it, put restrictions on it, but you can't stop it. people will just find illicit & more dangerous ways to do it.


Well yeees, but a country that has tight immigration control is probably going to have fewer people arriving (legally or not) than an equally attractive country that says "hey, come on in!".

I'm not trying to frame it moralistically either, it's just that there are are a lot of countries - meaning wealthy countries that immigrants might want to move to - that are in a better position to accept them than the UK is, from an economic/demographic POV.

scottdisco
04-07-2009, 01:27 AM
The number of people living in England has overtaken the population density of Holland, which has traditionally been the most densely-populated major nation on the continent.
The count, which has been attributed to higher levels of immigration, shows England now has 395 people per square kilometre.
The figures were obtained in a parliamentary answer from the Office of National Statistics.
In 2008 the average number of people per square kilometre in Britain was 253, rising to 395 in England.
Latest figures from Holland show that its population density was 395 a square kilometre in 2002 and 393 in 2005. It is estimated that English population density will rise to 464 people for every square kilometre by 2031.
The population density in England is already almost double the level in Germany and quadruple that in France.
...
Beyond Europe, England's population density is among the highest in the world for major countries. England ranks third in density after Bangladesh (1,045 per sq km) and South Korea (498 per sq km).

here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/2967374/England-is-most-crowded-country-in-Europe.html)

i must say Tea is OTM regarding the differences in population density between England and the other parts of the UK.

i.e. a quick glance at a recent Wiki for a list of the most densely populated sovereign nations on earth puts the UK (i know the article is discussing Britain, but, heck, Northern Ireland is not very densely populated) relatively low: around 50. but the figures would definitely change drastically when you break this down to the four main constituent British and Northern Irish parts.
purely on a demographic level, i find this fascinating.

after all, Scotland is nearly the same size as England yet has ten times less people or so.
Scotland is only {sic} about twice as densely populated as the States and Wales about five times; England more like ten times or so.

in fact, Bill Bryson once referenced England in something he wrote for American consumption about immigration to the USA, to make the same sort of point Tea makes above re density. (whether he should have is another matter, as - although i must stress his words were directed to Americans, hypothetical Americans Bryson wanted to reach, Americans who did not share Bryson's more humane approach on illegals - that cedes ground early to any passing virulently anti-immigration types who may not be American but living in a more densely populated country such as the Netherlands or the UK.
on the other hand, you have to have a hook, right.)

@P: the density debate feels like a massive thing in the UK - i'm sure the media bubble makes us feel it more than it truly is, as w' everything - so i can see why Tea feels the need to establish his bona-fides. after all, some people in the UK opposed to much immigration are genuine bigots, or - at the very least - populist shitheads who would stir up trouble or wilfully misrepresent things etc for the sake of it.

clearly Tea is not one of those.

(though i am watching you Tea, given you work for the Shin Bet :p )

again from the UK pov it is true that the UK gets a fair few immigrants (as distinct from, say, asylum seekers fleeing war; fleeing relative economic hardship in Moldova might not be quite as much of a bitch* as fleeing total failure of central govt writ-related carnage in the CAR, say, granted, but it's still a bitch) compared w' quite a few of her neighbours: for reasons to do with things like English being the global language, the perception of London as a world capital, the fact that London - along with places like Toronto, Paris, Sydney and New York - is an extremely ethnically diverse city, with many different Londoners of different heritages and different diasporic communities settled there, thus providing a cohesive support network for new arrivals that would be more lacking in, say, a - frankly - more whitebread European country like, oh idk, Austria. (although of course many European countries these days have cities that are ethnically enriched to the levels of say, the very multi-ethnic big cities of north America or Oceania, thanks to immigration.)

it's certainly not to do with our generous benefits, although we all know some of the press say otherwise ;)


*
the white Anglo-Saxon straight male born into one of the largest and wealthiest economies on earth airily writes

scottdisco
04-07-2009, 01:36 AM
of course (and again from the UK pov), many of our millions of recent Polish arrivals are returning home now aren't they? (credit crunch and all that.)

Poles went to Britain and Ireland to work there, and Ukrainians went to Poland to fill their gaps.

the beauty of migration.

scottdisco
04-07-2009, 01:50 AM
my last post for the night is to observe i recently linked to this .pdf on my main blog


Mafiwasta is an organisation dedicated to the improvement of migrant workers’ rights in the UAE. It was founded in 2005 by contractors working in the oil industry in Abu Dhabi as a means of drawing international attention to the plight of the country’s migrant workers. Mafiwasta has previously submitted complaints to the International Labour Organisation and Mafiwasta founder and co-director Nick McGeehan is, along with Dr David Keane of Brunel University, the co-author of the only authoritative legal paper to address the issue.

the .pdf in question is a short briefing on bad shit going down there on the above topic, the sort of bad shit you'll know about at least a little if you're posting on Dissensus Politics, but is obviously a worthy read in full.

.pdf here (http://www.mafiwasta.com/MAFIWASTA%20UPR%20Submission.pdf)

Mr. Tea
04-07-2009, 02:00 AM
of course (and again from the UK pov), many of our millions of recent Polish arrivals are returning home now aren't they? (credit crunch and all that.)


This is absolutely true - I head about half of our recent Polish immigrants have gone home. Must be a right bugger for anyone who wants to find a plumber or electrician. Perhaps the British economy will, er, solve our immigration issues for us? :confused:

(Is the zloty closely pegged to the euro, or what? By all accounts it's doing quite well against the pound.)

padraig (u.s.)
04-07-2009, 03:25 AM
Well yeees, but a country that has tight immigration control is probably going to have fewer people arriving (legally or not) than an equally attractive country that says "hey, come on in!".

this sounds like the common sense that is just as likely to, in practice, be wrong as to be right. I think what makes a country attractive has far more to do w/opportunities (or at least perceived opportunities) than its actual immigration policy. witness, for example, Australia. I'm talking generally, not the UK, but it is a general principle I think to be true. note that what I said - transparent, conciliatory - is not equivalent to welcoming or encouraging. more like acknowledging the reality & working w/in it rather than futilely trying to control it.

I'm not trying to backhandedly accuse you, or anyone else, of being xenophobic. we live in a world where people are encouraged to look out for their own best interests. hence it's more productive to appeal to their self-interest than to their morality. that's all I'm saying. it holds true for lots of things, not just immigration.

padraig (u.s.)
04-07-2009, 03:37 AM
also wanted to say - I'm more generally interested in the whys & hows, the "ecology" of immigration as Sassen calls it, than arguing what is/isn't true, what is/isn't a good idea, etc.

droid
04-07-2009, 11:49 AM
Nice thread. @ P and S - great posts.

It's all going to get much much worse of course. Climate change will see to that, though if the gulf stream cools down we might find ourselves on the wrong side of the fence.

England., particularly London is way too crowded. You're packed in there like ants. We've got a population density of 59 per sqk, the UK is 246, which means England is even higher... I really noticed it the last time I was over.

Mr. Tea
04-07-2009, 01:24 PM
England., particularly London is way too crowded. You're packed in there like ants. We've got a population density of 59 per sqk, the UK is 246, which means England is even higher... I really noticed it the last time I was over.

Yeah, it's nuts. A while ago we got some leaflet or newsletter or something from the local branch of the SWP, complaining about how crowded it is in Tower Hamlets and decrying the lack of social housing. Well sure, there is a lack of social housing, and I think it's been (various) governments' faults for allowing this to happen over the course of several decades - but the population density also has a hell of a lot to do with the enormous levels of immigration into the area, plus the fact that the birth rate is a good deal higher amongst the immigrant population once they're settled here.

But I have a sneaky feeling even mentioning this to someone from SWP would probably make you a massive terrible RACIST!!! in their eyes.

nomadthethird
05-07-2009, 03:00 AM
your point being what, exactly?

No, my point being that, despite the fact that militarization of the border is obviously a stupid waste of time and money, there are no easy answers to the problems associated with immigration to the U.S., which mostly run parallel to a bunch of economic and political problems that are much bigger than "immigration" itself is.


that things have always sucked so they always will suck & oh well no use complaining?

I don't understand why arrests at the border are the issue. States are going to protect their interests. That's what they do. The only way to approach the issue from within the framework of the State is as a "human rights" issue--which I am more than happy to do, but many, many ideologues on the left are not.


please don't mischaracterize what I said & then attribute some vague nonsense to "people". that is the kind of bullshit you always rip to threads when Zhao (no offense if you read that Z - U kno it's all luv) or whoever does it. I would never go off on some goofy shit about "Empire" w/gratuitous capitalization. you're looking for the K-punk fanboys there. tho, for the record, looking askance at cultural imperialism & being critical of American immigration policy are not exactly contradictory.

You've lost me. I wasn't talking about you there. I have no idea what you mean. Zhao or whoever does what? I was talking about the simultaneous demands made on the U.S. that seem to paint it into a corner--it's not supposed to imperialize (and I don't want it to), and force its lifestyle on the world, but then it's also supposed to gladly let everyone who has an inkling that they'd like to come on board into the country. I'm not saying you were making both of those demands, just that it's a game the U.S. can't win, in terms of foreign policy.


is it so much to ask for an approach to immigration that is 1) mostly consistent & 2) reasonably humane? maybe it is. b/c, again, it's not as if the militarize/crackdown approach is getting anywhere, even at what it's intended to do. tho I guess in a way it doesn't matter- sheer weight of #s will trump the BS, it already does.

No, it's not too much to ask. I was just wondering what in particular you were thinking of when you were pointing to the inhumane practices. The historical examples were good. The militarization is over-the-top and unnecessary. But I was just wondering if maybe there was more violence going on or something...

nomadthethird
05-07-2009, 03:15 AM
afraid with, yunno, valid reason. & not afraid of the doctors & nurses either, which you well know. the point isn't that it's impossible to get treatment, just that it's more difficult & often risky. like everything. it's also true that their are many programs - clinics, food banks & lessons, legal aid, English classes - geared towards, or at least sympathetic to, illegal immigrants (at least Spanish-speaking, I've no idea about Asians, Africans & others but presumably each community has its own) but nearly every one I've ever seen has been self-run, naught to do w/"welfare".


Yeah...actually there are tons of government run clinics, or clinics subsidized with government funds....but still, it's not an ideal situation, not by a long shot. But then, it's not an ideal situation for a lot of people who live here "legally", there's plenty of labor violation and exploitation going on when it comes to recent legal immigrants as well...like all of those factories in southern Queens that bus in people to work really long hours off the books, basically in sweat shops.

Culturally, illegal immigrants make up a gigantic portion of the population of lots of U.S. cities and increasingly more exurban or rural areas. But haven't they always? I'm just trying to get a handle on whether you're talking about hispanic immigration being particularly problematic because of the border militarization, or if you're saying the U.S. has a bad track record on immigration. I suppose my main reaction to this is that it's never been easy for immigrants, legal or illegal. But yours is that policy has changed in recent years to make a big bureacratic nightmare and increased tensions at the border.

In Germany I was shocked at the casual but belligerently callous/racist attitudes towards Turkish immigrants that many people displayed. Seemed to match the ones we have now in cities where blacks and others who relied on low-skill, low-income jobs are now competing with Latino immigrants who will work for less, and the ones we have had in the past (Irish-black relations were once really shabby here, Italian-black, Italian-Irish, etc.)

nomadthethird
05-07-2009, 03:22 AM
as to your frankly, absurd, contention that "most of the illegals" are getting welfare benefits or "running really lucrative contracting" I don't really know what to say. other than it's simply not true.

Actually, it is true in that neighborhood (Bushwick was the only neighborhood I was discussing at the moment, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough about that).

NYC's problems are different than Cali's, of course, or Texas'. I'm sure that living closer to the border, you'd see another side of the issue.

Edit: I remember a couple of years ago there was a big to-do about how more hispanics voted than white people in some counties in NY...anybody remember the stats?

padraig (u.s.)
05-07-2009, 05:02 PM
...there are no easy answers to the problems associated with immigration to the U.S., which mostly run parallel to a bunch of economic and political problems that are much bigger than "immigration" itself is...I don't understand why arrests at the border are the issue. States are going to protect their interests. That's what they do. The only way to approach the issue from within the framework of the State is as a "human rights" issue--which I am more than happy to do, but many, many ideologues on the left are not.

no one said the arrests at the border are the sole issue. but enforcement - at the border & elsewhere - is a de facto issue, insomuch as it determines the reality of immigration much moreso than any policy. I'm unconvinced that any of this is in the State's interest. that's the point. I reckon the militarization has largely to do w/political concerns over pragmatic ones. esp. as it's gone on long after it's clear it's wildly unsuccessful.

I'd like to stay well away from "human rights" cause frankly it doesn't have the juice to get anything done. it's nice PR but it also gives people an out - to sympathize & thus assuage their guilt w/o doing anything. guilt is a terrible motivator. OTOH self-interest, including that of the State, is still the best motivator going.

clearly immigration is one in a web of complex issues. I am in fact more interested in teasing out more specific ways in it is related to politics/economics/environmental degradation - rather than just saying it does & leaving it that.


I was talking about the simultaneous demands made on the U.S. that seem to paint it into a corner--it's not supposed to imperialize (and I don't want it to), and force its lifestyle on the world, but then it's also supposed to gladly let everyone who has an inkling that they'd like to come on board into the country.

but who, exactly, is making those simultaneous demands, in the way that you state them? that's what I'm asking - it seems like something you've just decided. even the fiercest pro-immigration advocates (aside from those who want no borders at all, anywhere) don't want to let "everyone who has an inkling" in. letting people in is not the point - it's how people, legal & illegal, are dealt with.


But I was just wondering if maybe there was more violence going on or something...

nothing in particular, no. it's not supposed to be a "topical" thread. one for ideas, not for haggling about how bad it is/isn't.

tho tbc there's always a healthy amount of violence, of various types, being done on & around the border. "more" is I dunno, relative.

padraig (u.s.)
05-07-2009, 05:13 PM
Yeah...actually there are tons of government run clinics, or clinics subsidized with government funds...

this is not equivalent to "welfare".


But then, it's not an ideal situation for a lot of people who live here "legally"

true of course, tho surely one can be for both.


Culturally, illegal immigrants make up a gigantic portion of the population of lots of U.S. cities and increasingly more exurban or rural areas. But haven't they always?

no. they have for a long time, & even longer if you're talking about immigrants generally as opposed to only illegal ones. but, 2 things. this is immigration is different b/c it's not coming from Europe & it's not a wave that's going to recede at some point. & the spread into more rural/small-town areas is considerably more recent (going back to, AFAIK, roughly the 80s - discounting the SW which has always been largely Hispanic)


I suppose my main reaction to this is that it's never been easy for immigrants, legal or illegal. But yours is that policy has changed in recent years to make a big bureacratic nightmare and increased tensions at the border.

these are both true. they also don't contradict each other.

padraig (u.s.)
05-07-2009, 05:18 PM
Edit: I remember a couple of years ago there was a big to-do about how more hispanics voted than white people in some counties in NY...anybody remember the stats?

puts me in mind of (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/nyregion/21gangs.html)

padraig (u.s.)
05-07-2009, 05:21 PM
Climate change will see to that

this is something I'm quite interested in - it's something I sees/hears cited pretty regularly but I'd like to see data. studies, if they exist, on how climate change & secondary effects - desertification, droughts, etc. - have already affected the flow of humans & how they will do so in the future tho I'd guess it's rather hard to predict specifics.

as well things like, say, the link between overfishing in Somali waters & the Somali pirates.

sufi
06-07-2009, 05:55 PM
yeah FT magazine (slogan"All times are London time") this weekend predicts a 10fold increase in refugees by 2050 (after quoting latterday malthus lovelock)

Estimates of the number of environmental refugees in 2050, when the global population is expected to peak at 9 billion and the planet is forecast to be in the throes of a 2°C-or-more temperature rise, vary between 50 million and 1 billion people. But the most commonly repeated number – included in Britain’s 2006 Stern Review – is between 200 and 250 million, or around 10 times the number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world today.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/bb6b0efc-5ad9-11de-8c14-00144feabdc0.html
of course not all refugees are illegals and vice versa, (quite apart from the question of how environmental refugees fit the international legal framework of the 1951 refugee convention) altho states prefer illegals as they are less costly on welfare/benefits, and can be exploited much better to ensure our cherished cheap veg and chicken reaches the shelves of sainsbury tesco etc...
for me (having worked in this field for some few years) the govt have a fine tuned double speak on this, their ideal suituation is where noone can migrate legally, thus they win the daily mail PR battle, and at the same time, maximum illegals who are ready for exploitation - the US seems to be actually slightly more honest about admitting the extent that the ecomony relies on illegal labo(u)r, looking more cynically (tho doubtless less cynically that govt strategists) border controls filter the migrants so that only the fittest make it thru, mostly strong, educated young blokes who are ready to work and havent been a burden on the state for their upbringing & education

woolas, that plonker, personifies this, face to face and when he's talking to stakeholders, is perfectly reasonable and even fairly intelligent, but when he's in front of the press he becomes a raging bonkers loon
welcome to my world (http://refugeestudies.org/viewtopic.php?p=467)

Mr. Tea
06-07-2009, 06:45 PM
altho states prefer illegals as they are less costly on welfare/benefits, and can be exploited much better to ensure our cherished cheap veg and chicken reaches the shelves of sainsbury tesco etc...


I've heard this argument before but I'm not sure I buy it - at least, as far as this country is concerned. Given the huge amount of resources the Govt dedicates both to trying to stop illegals arriving in the country, or to sending them back once they've been picked up or locking them up in those big detention centres while they're being 'processed', I mean. And businesses can face massive penalties for employing illegal labour, can't they? I'd have thought the big supermarkets especially would steer clear of this as much as possible for fear of legal consequences.

crackerjack
06-07-2009, 07:47 PM
And businesses can face massive penalties for employing illegal labour, can't they? I'd have thought the big supermarkets especially would steer clear of this as much as possible for fear of legal consequences.

The supermarkets don't need to steer clear - it's not them doing the employing. They buy from farms/processing centres, who use employment agencies, who do the underpaying and naked exploitation. The worst that happens to the supermarkets is a story in one of the papers linking them - and they have plausible deniability.

This is good (http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141035680,00.html) for a catalogue of personal experience, some firsthand, some second or third, which shows how the agencies love using Chinese workers because they're illegal, have little comprehension of English and are too afraid of deportation (and often too indebted to snakeheads) to kick up a fuss.

padraig (u.s.)
06-07-2009, 08:27 PM
altho states prefer illegals as they are less costly on welfare/benefits...border controls filter the migrants so that only the fittest make it thru, mostly strong, educated young blokes who are ready to work and havent been a burden on the state for their upbringing & education

this is largely, if not totally true, & a good point that is not often raised. the border controls/militarization aren't a conscious effort to filter out the less able - that's too cynical, even for me - more like an unintended consequence. so much policy, in the U.S. at least, is political & not practical, apt to produce all kinds of unintended results. have to dispute "educated" - the great majority of illegals I've met/worked with were the exact opposite, poor kids from rural villages or urban slums who'd barely had any school; the educated are far more likely to have decent job prospects at home, to have the resources to immigrate legally, etc. I don't want to say the ignorant make better workers but I reckon many employers - especially the kind that hire illegals - favor them, easier to exploit & so on. plus one more thing - surplus of rootless, desperate young males is a recipe for violence. thinking here mainly of the gang warfare of places like L.A., Chicago, etc.

also good look on that FT article, exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. re: "environmental refugees", one wonders at how such a term would be (adequately) defined, how it would be determined if someone was/wasn't, etc. a legal clusterf**k waiting to happen, clearly.

padraig (u.s.)
06-07-2009, 08:59 PM
w/standard disclaimer re: U.S./UK differences


And businesses can face massive penalties for employing illegal labour, can't they? I'd have thought the big supermarkets especially would steer clear of this as much as possible for fear of legal consequences.

crackerjack nailed it but to elaborate - in my experience illegals tend to be employed in 2 ways:

large employers requiring a high # of bodies but little skill; agribusiness (i.e. San Joaquin Valley or the tomato pickers of Florida (http://www.ciw-online.org/)), meatpacking/processing plants (i.e. the huge influx of Hispanics into poultry towns in the SE), big construction jobs as unskilled labor

usually abysmal pay, shit conditions, etc. always that plausible deniability for corporate concerns. there is also a studied, persistent reluctance to do sweeps for illegals in exactly these kinds of businesses. not that they don't happen, cos they do, there is very much a kind of wink-wink thing going on. all those double standards.

smaller employers - smaller-scale construction, landscaping, restaurants, etc.

most dudes I've talked to prefer these. you know your employer personally, (s)he's more likely to treat you better, etc. tho OTOH they can be even worse, depends entirely on the ethics of the employer.

Mr. Tea
06-07-2009, 09:28 PM
The supermarkets don't need to steer clear - it's not them doing the employing. They buy from farms/processing centres, who use employment agencies, who do the underpaying and naked exploitation. The worst that happens to the supermarkets is a story in one of the papers linking them - and they have plausible deniability.


OK, very good point, they can always play the ignorant/innocent card. But all the same, sufi said "states prefer illegals" - now obviously Tesco, Sainsbury et al are massive companies and as such are bound to have a not insignificant degree of clout in Parliament, legit or otherwise...but all the same, they don't run the country. Is it plausible that the Government tacitly permits a lot of illegal immigration just to keep the supermarkets happy, despite all the social problems it exacerbates (overcrowding, ghettoisation, racial tensions), to say nothing of the conditions of illegal workers themselves? I mean, maybe it is, but that just seems to attribute a colossal amount of power to supermarkets.

Re. Woolas and the pie - I started a thread about this a while ago but it didn't really go anywhere. Anyway, the questions I asked were: Is it necessarily either 'racist' or 'right-wing' to think a country ought to have the right to limit the number of people settling in it? And if it is, does that imply that anyone (and therefore, theoretically, everyone) in the world should be allowed to settle in Britain if they want to? I can only assume from their name that No Borders thinks this is the case.

Note that the issue on refugees from war, oppression and disaster is a separate thing from immigration per se - AFAIK most people entering the UK, legally or otherwise, are not refugees according to the Geneva Convention. And if this Woolas guy thinks the Convention needs to be 'revised', well, that's very worrying. Though there are lots of different ways it could be 'revised', of course.

nomadthethird
06-07-2009, 09:32 PM
this is not equivalent to "welfare".

Who said it was? When I said "welfare" I was talking about medicaid and housing/housing subsidies.

nomadthethird
06-07-2009, 09:36 PM
I've heard this argument before but I'm not sure I buy it - at least, as far as this country is concerned. Given the huge amount of resources the Govt dedicates both to trying to stop illegals arriving in the country, or to sending them back once they've been picked up or locking them up in those big detention centres while they're being 'processed', I mean. And businesses can face massive penalties for employing illegal labour, can't they? I'd have thought the big supermarkets especially would steer clear of this as much as possible for fear of legal consequences.

The U.S. doesn't enforce shit when it comes to cheap labor, usually unless violent crime is involved.

A bus used to come by at 4:30 every morning when I lived in the industrial park in Bushwick and drop off a bunch of Koreans at a factory across the street that made fortune cookies and chinese food products. I'm guessing they were illegal, otherwise they would've been able to get a bank account and buy metro cards and such. They'd bus in the next shift later in the day and so on.

I've never heard complaints about it. The illegals who worked at Boar's Head tried to unionize, I remember that pretty well...

nomadthethird
06-07-2009, 09:39 PM
clearly immigration is one in a web of complex issues. I am in fact more interested in teasing out more specific ways in it is related to politics/economics/environmental degradation - rather than just saying it does & leaving it that.


nothing in particular, no. it's not supposed to be a "topical" thread. one for ideas, not for haggling about how bad it is/isn't.

So, let's hear em...

What are these ideas?

nomadthethird
06-07-2009, 09:42 PM
I'd like to stay well away from "human rights" cause frankly it doesn't have the juice to get anything done. it's nice PR but it also gives people an out - to sympathize & thus assuage their guilt w/o doing anything. guilt is a terrible motivator. OTOH self-interest, including that of the State, is still the best motivator going..

Well, usually I'd agree, that it's mostly rhetorical when people talk about human rights, or when governments do--but how else do we enforce more "humane" practices??

Mr. Tea
06-07-2009, 09:42 PM
The U.S. doesn't enforce shit when it comes to cheap labor, usually unless violent crime is involved.


Well yes, I'm aware it's a lot different in the US.

nomadthethird
06-07-2009, 09:46 PM
Well yes, I'm aware it's a lot different in the US.

I think we could just safely wrap up the thread with a "there's no possible way we could bring any of this under control" but that's too cynical.

Wait, do you even have illegals over there? I mean, a sizeable pop. of them? Because my bf's sister lived in London for about 5 years and good lord the hoops she had to jump through to get a temporary visa...I can't even imagine how hard it is to actually emigrate.

crackerjack
06-07-2009, 09:54 PM
OK, very good point, they can always play the ignorant/innocent card. But all the same, sufi said "states prefer illegals" - now obviously Tesco, Sainsbury et al are massive companies and as such are bound to have a not insignificant degree of clout in Parliament, legit or otherwise...but all the same, they don't run the country. Is it plausible that the Government tacitly permits a lot of illegal immigration just to keep the supermarkets happy, despite all the social problems it exacerbates (overcrowding, ghettoisation, racial tensions), to say nothing of the conditions of illegal workers themselves?

No, of course not. But govts certainly benefit from supermarkets stocking their shelves with cheap food, subsidised by a workforce earning substantially less than minimum wage.

I don't subscribe to the implication that govt is in the pocket of any business, or group of businesses. But there are compelling reasons why it doesn't pursue the issue anywhere near as vigorously as its rhetoric would suggest.

crackerjack
06-07-2009, 09:55 PM
I think we could just safely wrap up the thread with a "there's no possible way we could bring any of this under control" but that's too cynical.

Wait, do you even have illegals over there? I mean, a sizeable pop. of them?

About 500,000 estimated, in a pop of 60m

hucks
06-07-2009, 10:30 PM
The mayor of London has signed up, in principle, for an earned amnesty for irregular migrants. The Greater London Authority commissioned this (http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/economic_unit/docs/irregular-migrants-summary.pdf) report, which suggests that around half a million undocumented migrants are in London. I might sound incredibly naive here, but, in a population of 7.5m, that seems very, very high to me.

padraig (u.s.)
06-07-2009, 11:21 PM
When I said "welfare" I was talking about medicaid and housing/housing subsidies.

point holds. I think that is largely a right-wing myth (which, again, I'm duly surprised to hear you spouting) like, yunno, Reagan's welfare queens. I doubt you're speaking from more than anecdotal evidence - same as me, tho I've got quite a lot of anecdotal experience w/the topic - so let's have a look at what a search throws up.

Illegal Immigrants On Welfare: Fact or Fiction? (http://blogs.chron.com/immigration/archives/2008/01/post_80.html)


A 2007 analysis of welfare data by researchers at the Urban Institute reveals that less than 1 percent of households headed by undocumented immigrants receive cash assistance for needy families, compared to 5 percent of households headed by native-born U.S. citizens.

in the comments there's a copy & paste of a very dodgy chain e-mail which claimed that illegal immigration costs "$383 billion a year" & accuses illegals of the usual crime, violence, etc.. it is refuted point by point here. (http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/do_illegal_immigrants_cost_3383_billion_dollars.ht ml)


Illegal Immigrants Are Paying a Lot More Taxes (http://reason.org/news/show/122411.html)


The fact that illegal immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news to many Americans. A stunning two-thirds of illegal immigrants pay Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes. Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation's hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don't pay for.

In reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization. The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education.


Debunking the Nativist Myths (http://network.nshp.org/profiles/blogs/debunking-the-nativist-myths)

& so on.

keep in mind their are conflicting reports from usual suspects like CIS, FAIR, etc. & others. I'm not going to link to them but they're not hard to find. It turns out - surprise, surprise - that's you have to be wary of data b/c people find #s that fit their political agendas.

padraig (u.s.)
06-07-2009, 11:28 PM
What are these ideas?

oh FFS? really?

not to make fucking policy. I'm not saying we're going to solve all the world's ills on a bloody message board. it's yunno, what we usually do - a bunch of reasonably clever, fairly well-read people tossing around comments. yunno, a thread (too bad Vim & Josef aren't around, btw). a discussion. but you're not dense, exactly the opposite, so surely you know what I meant.

but you seem to determined to argue 1) immigration has always been a tough go & 2) as a problem it's part of a greater whole that is unsolvable so why talk it about anyway cos it will never be solved until we dismantle Kapitalism blah blah blah (& I'll just ignore all the weird right-wing crap). both points conceded. can we move on?

nomadthethird
07-07-2009, 04:19 AM
I don't think it's a problem if illegals get benefits, I think it's GOOD. It's a GOOD thing if they do, when they do. And I'm sorry to break this to you, but sometimes (not ALWAYS, and not OFTEN) they do.

In my neighborhood, which is the place I was referring to, immigrants are split between Puerto Rican, Dominicans, Mexicans, and scattered South Americans. Since Puerto Ricans have American citizenship, they can legally qualify for welfare benefits. One of the main scams going is to fake birthcertificates/papers from the PR, so you can get medicaid and housing. Medicaid fraud is massive--one really simple and easy form I know of is this: if you look hispanic at all, you can borrow or pay to anybody's card who's name sounds hispanic and go to a hospital/pharmacy. Forty bucks for a fake license on Times Square and voila. The projects are full of illegals who through "cohabitation" end up with apartments and such. It's really not as hard as you may think to scam the gov. There are white people who make a good living off it, too.

Like I said before, it's usually through loopholes. It's not easy, or upfront, or "above board". But that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I don't think we should kick them out because of this. I don't particularly care if thousands and millions more people come into the U.S. from wherever. The economy is global at this point anyway, we're all going to pay for poverty and "development" one way or another, right?

As far as I'm concerned, I think they should find new and better ways of scamming the shit out of the system. I won't stop them. Or ask anyone else to try.

Jeeezzzz. I didn't figure I'd have to explain all of this.

nomadthethird
07-07-2009, 04:21 AM
point holds. I think that is largely a right-wing myth (which, again, I'm duly surprised to hear you spouting) like, yunno, Reagan's welfare queens. I doubt you're speaking from more than anecdotal evidence - same as me, tho I've got quite a lot of anecdotal experience w/the topic - so let's have a look at what a search throws up.

Illegal Immigrants On Welfare: Fact or Fiction? (http://blogs.chron.com/immigration/archives/2008/01/post_80.html)



in the comments there's a copy & paste of a very dodgy chain e-mail which claimed that illegal immigration costs "$383 billion a year" & accuses illegals of the usual crime, violence, etc.. it is refuted point by point here. (http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/do_illegal_immigrants_cost_3383_billion_dollars.ht ml)


Illegal Immigrants Are Paying a Lot More Taxes (http://reason.org/news/show/122411.html)




Debunking the Nativist Myths (http://network.nshp.org/profiles/blogs/debunking-the-nativist-myths)

& so on.

keep in mind their are conflicting reports from usual suspects like CIS, FAIR, etc. & others. I'm not going to link to them but they're not hard to find. It turns out - surprise, surprise - that's you have to be wary of data b/c people find #s that fit their political agendas.

When the hell does someone saying that the illegals in their neighborhood have found loopholes become them saying that "illegals cost $383 billions a year"?

I happen to think social programs are a good thing, so why you're trying to accuse me of pointing this out due to some kind of right wing agenda is beyond me. More welfare benefits for illegals = good. That's what I happen to think. But, of course, you could always just fill in the blanks in my posts with utter nonsense that I've never once in my life entertained for a second.

sufi
07-07-2009, 10:40 AM
http://media.entertainment.sky.com/image/unscaled/2008/9/3/Enforcementgi.jpg

Anyone been watching "UK Border Force" on SKY?

vastly entertaining, and could only really be improved by getting grant from stenders in, or that undercover investigative journo bloke macyntyre...

wholesomely debunked here:

... Some of the immigration officers shown on the programme evidently enjoyed their work. An immigration officer interviewed by The Metro last year explained quite simply that she 'liked the idea of going out and using our power of arrest' and that 'raids are fun'.[20] Others openly displayed sympathy for those whom they removed from the country, but removed them anyway. The point is that whether administered enthusiastically or sympathetically the end result, often, was the same. UK Border Force shows, but never questions that through the edicts of immigration and asylum law and policy global inequalities are maintained at a cost of human misery. Instead, ultimately, such workings of the state are on television as a macabre form of human entertainment.

At the time of writing, UK Border Force is currently re-running on Sky (Freeview), and a second series is in production.

http://www.irr.org.uk/2009/may/ha000045.html

droid
07-07-2009, 11:01 AM
I particularly like Australia's fascist 'Nothing to declare':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POd94c6er80

This is the only video I can find on youtube, but they are ridiculously strict... I guess they've learnt from experience what happens when you let the wrong people in.

vimothy
07-07-2009, 11:43 AM
Be interested to see some data on global migration trends...

This is from Wikipedia, world net migration rates:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2e/Net_migration_rate_world.PNG/800px-Net_migration_rate_world.PNG

crackerjack
07-07-2009, 11:59 AM
so Afghanistan's a net importer of people? That's a lot of GIs and jihadis.

Also surpised by the patterns in southern and central Africa - is that the mining industry?

vimothy
07-07-2009, 12:16 PM
South Africa: regional economic powerhouse. Not sure about the great lakes region though. Prunier to thread!

crackerjack
07-07-2009, 12:31 PM
South Africa: regional economic powerhouse. Not sure about the great lakes region though. Prunier to thread!

Yeah, knew about S Africa. Also read somewhere Luanda was most expesnive city on earth (:confused::confused:) thanks to various gemstone mining. But DRC? Uganda?

scottdisco
07-07-2009, 01:24 PM
Botswana is a very good look for a lot of that neighbourhood so that being in blue ain't a surprise.

but DRC i'm also stumped on: people roaming across borders in what we know is a porous region?

i note Chad, Sudan, Congo, Gabon are net losers, and that the CAR has a n/a by it.

interesting map Vim, nice one.

vimothy
07-07-2009, 01:35 PM
From a WB paper (http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1110315015165/Migration_in_Africa_WilliamShaw.pdf) with case studies of migration to and from various African states:


Uganda, for example, was a relatively prosperous and stable country in the 1960s, when the stock of immigrants equaled more than 11 percent of the population. But with the economic and political decline in the 1970s and 1980s, Uganda became an important source of emigrants (Black and others 2004), and the total number of immigrants has fallen by one third, to 1.8 percent of the population.

(...)

[A]bout 80 percent of Uganda’s immigrants come from nearby countries that have suffered from sustained violence—Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Sudan.

(...)

Uganda had the largest number of victims of forced migration in 2005, amounting to 250,000 people or equal to almost half the numbers of immigrants in the official data

vimothy
07-07-2009, 01:56 PM
Lots more stuff at the WB here (http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTDECPROSPECTS/0,,contentMDK:21122856~pagePK:64165401~piPK:641650 26~theSitePK:476883,00.html).

EDIT: Perhaps not totally surprisingly, WB data seems to disagree with the CIA data used to make the map above WRT African migration flows.

sufi
07-07-2009, 10:54 PM
Recent trends in immigration control have been on the face of it about 'deterrence' of would be migrants, and 'integration' of newcomers, but there has also been an unadvertised but sure-footed move towards privatisation which has wide implications and effects

it goes a long way; from extraterratorial ALOs - Airline Liaison Officers, who check passengers in country of origin and work with the check-in desks (imho a zone of extreme prejudice where your human rights are obscure at the discretion of an unoffical, untrained proxy border control/security force, wearing fancy airline livery free from legal scrutiny or responsibilty), the airlines themselves legally compelled to render tightly bound 'failed' migrants under guard from tax free legal limbo 'airside' to the hands of those they sought refuge from ...

... to the planned offshore detention centres, extrapolating UK force outside of it's legal constraints ( http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news682.htm ) no doubt sub-contracted to successive failed franchises of the international military-industrial complex, the private security who batter and racially abuse deportees without regulation or oversight ( http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/ )

... into the world of work (as discussed above) where your employer, again untrained and unofficially, maintains internal migation controls,

... encroaching insidiously into the most personal and intimate relationships, uk has quite recently followed saudi to implement laws restricting marriage to foreigners without state authorisation, but it's much deeper than that, of course; potential partners require careful screening for possible advantage or detriment in the race for residence or a green card, power relationships overturn as legal status changes, dependency and exploitation is facilitated within communities, between partners, even parents and kids depending on who hold the right paperwork, so we're all immigration controllers
this last aspect of migration really interests me - how does the experience of a son of an immigrant man and a native woman differ from that of a daughter, or if the parents' origins reverse? thinking about inherited gender roles, access to different cultural stuff, different prejudices and discrimination suffered according to the family's ethnic shape...

padraig (u.s.)
07-07-2009, 11:44 PM
good look at the world migration map. no big surprises except this:

so Afghanistan's a net importer of people?

which is totally mind-boggling. tho Iran's in the lengthy process of trying to deport some 1 million Afghan refugees (http://www.afghanconflictmonitor.org/2009/01/iran-said-to-resume-deportation-of-afghan-refugees-.html) so perhaps that has something to do w/it. (OT but related - American GI was captured in Afghanistan (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31703681/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/), the 1st of the entire war - dunno about you lot but the news hit a nerve for me)

oh & Oman the only Arab country that is a net importer. would've thought there were more, just via economic migration to work in oil & its supporting industries, i.e. Indians/Filipinos/etc. workers & as well as intra-Arab migration. especially Saudi.

padraig (u.s.)
08-07-2009, 12:02 AM
but there has also been an unadvertised but sure-footed move towards privatisation which has wide implications and effects

this shit is even more out of control in the U.S. (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13845)

& so on (http://monthlyreview.org/mrzine/koulish200707.html)

to say nothing of the likes of Wackenhut etc. running prisons.


power relationships overturn as legal status changes, dependency and exploitation is facilitated within communities, between partners, even parents and kids depending on who hold the right paperwork, so we're all immigration controllers
this last aspect of migration really interests me - how does the experience of a son of an immigrant man and a native woman differ from that of a daughter, or if the parents' origins reverse? thinking about inherited gender roles, access to different cultural stuff, different prejudices and discrimination suffered according to the family's ethnic shape...

yeh never seen it w/kids - but definitely relationships, legitimate & not, broken up by the stress. terrible power dynamics esp., in my experience, when the immigrant's a woman. people who got married & then broke up but were stuck together out of obligation. the most successful couple I ever knew - the woman went & lived in Mexico for like 3 years, they got married there & did all the paperwork & interviews so when they came back to the U.S. her husband was already all sorted out. course not everyone can do that (but it's a helluva love story innit).

polystyle desu
06-08-2009, 06:16 PM
At least getting onto it ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/us/politics/06detain.html?hp

sufi
13-08-2009, 10:06 PM
At least getting onto it ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/us/politics/06detain.html?hp
that's bizarre

the whole point of the way the uk detention system works is to keep it off the books in order create situations that allow abuse of detainees 'pour encourager les autres'

new report out today from 'hm chief inspector of prisons' anne owers, who definitely sound like a good sort: http://www.ncadc.org.uk/Newszine109/Detaineeescortsremovals.pdf

baboon2004
13-08-2009, 10:46 PM
new report out today from 'hm chief inspector of prisons' anne owers, who definitely sound like a good sort: http://www.ncadc.org.uk/Newszine109/Detaineeescortsremovals.pdf

I wrote to her the other day about something and she still hasn't written back - good sort indeed...harrumph! ;)

As you say, the privatisation of immigration detention centres is huge cause for concern. The staff turnover in private prisons is unbelievable, up to 45 epr cent in some places some years...